GERMANY: Angela Merkel Wins Fourth Term, Extremist AFD Party Has Likely Taken 89 Seats In Parliament

The New York Times reports:

Angela Merkel is headed toward a fourth term as German chancellor, according to normally reliable exit polls released just after the polls closed in Germany. But the polls also show that a far-right party, Alternative for Germany, has gotten some 13.5 percent of the vote, a significant showing of voter anger over immigration and inequality. For the first time in more than 60 years the far right will be represented in the Bundestag.

Despite her victory, Ms. Merkel and her conservatives cannot rule alone. The shape and policies of a new governing coalition will involve weeks of painstaking negotiations. The center-left Social Democrats, Ms. Merkel’s coalition partners for the last four years, ran a poor second to her center-right grouping, and the AfD came in a solid third.

If the Social Democrats decide not to join a governing coalition, to rebuild their political profile, they will be the country’s official opposition. But if they join Ms. Merkel again, the AfD will take over that prominent role, which is bound to shake the consensus politics of Germany.

More from the Express:

ARD-DeutschlandTrend, who compiled the exit polls, found 60 per cent of those who voted for the AfD, did so because they were disappointed with other parties. Of those who voted for the AfD, 89 per cent said they voted for the party because the CDU has neglected its refugee policy and the worries of the German people. Eight-six per cent said they thought 12 years of Mrs Merkel as Chancellor was enough and 74 per cent said the CDU has had too many conservative positions over the past few years.

A total of 49 per cent of voters thought the AfD understands people do not feel safe anymore, 37 per cent said they like the AfD wants to reduce the influence of Islam in Germany and 35 per cent said they like the AfD wants to reduce the influx of foreigners and refugees. However, the majority, or 86 per cent of voters, felt the AfD does not distance itself enough from far-right, extremist positions.

The extremist AfD is headed by a married lesbian.